The swarm-founding vespids, despite their comprising more than 24 genera and approximately one-third of the social species of wasps, have been little studied. This is due in part to their tropical distribution, away from the prying eyes of the majority of social insect biologists, and in part due to the difficulties of studying behavior of what may be thousands of individuals in a 3-dimensional enclosed nest. The phenomenon of worker polyethism is a case in point. Since Butler (1609) first described it in honey bees, polyethism in social insects has been the subject of uncounted studies (for reviews see Wilson 1971; Oster & Wilson 1978; Brian 1979). Worker polyethism in the swarm-founding wasps, however, has been touched on in only three recent studies, all of them unpublished dissertations. Naumann (1970) found evidence of temporal division of labõr in Protopolybia acutiseutis (=pumila). Simões (1977), in the most detailed study so far, used marked workers of known age to demonstrate temporal division of labor in Stelopo lybia pallipes and S. exigua. Forsyth (1978) used workers of known relative age to demonstrate the same in Polybia occidental is. All have shown that the typical pattern of age polyethism prevails in these species: young workers engage in tasks at the nest, then shift to foraging as they get older.